Global Broadcast will invest Rs500 cr in news channels, Viacom JV

Global Broadcast will invest Rs500 cr in news channels, Viacom JV

New Delhi: The broadcaster of news channels CNN-IBN and IBN7, Global Broadcast News Ltd (GBN) on Tuesday said it would invest Rs500 crore in an entertainment venture with US media group Viacom Inc. and in launching regional news channels. The funds are to come in through foreign direct investment (FDI).

“The amount of Rs500 crore will go in launching a number of news channels in regional languages and in an entertainment venture with Viacom," GBN joint managing director Sameer Manchanda said.

He said GBN had proposed to induct up to 26% FDI.

Its proposal was among the 19 FDI projects, amounting to Rs726.88 crore, approved by the government on Monday.

GBN, a part of the Network18 Group, has already announced the launch of a 24-hour Marathi language news and current affairs channel, through a 50:50 joint-venture with the Lokmat Group.

Manchanda said the company would launch a few more regional news channels in the future, but did not give details.

The company had raised around Rs105 crore through an initial public offering early this year and has also formed a joint venture with the Jagran group to bring out a business newspaper in Hindi.

The Network18 Group has also announced plans to enter the entertainment space with a 50:50 joint venture with Viacom. The venture—Viacom 18—would operate the existing MTV Network channels inIndia (MTV, Vh1 and Nickelodeon), launch a new Hindi general entertainment channel, and house the group’s film business. The media sector is in a dynamic growth phase and GBN is geared up to take advantage of such opportunities and strengthen its leadership position as a media house, Manchanda said.